February 13th, 2009
04:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Are Dems in trouble in 2010, or not?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/13/art.vanhollen.gi.jpg caption="Van Hollen, left, and Menendez head the DCCC and the DSCC respectively."](CNN) - They’re on the same team, but the House and Senate Democratic campaign chiefs appear to be looking at different playing fields when it comes to the political environment their party will face in 2010.

A day after Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez predicted big Democratic gains in two years, his counterpart in the House said he doesn't expect the party will see a "third wave" and would be happy just to "hold the line."

“If you look at first midterm elections historically, the president’s party loses seats,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, said at a forum in Washington in remarks reported by Politico.

“The historical trend is pretty clear for Democrats,” he concluded.

The president's party has historically lost seats in a midterm election, especially when that party controls both houses of Congress and the White House. The Democratic Party’s decades-long majority status in Congress ended with the first midterm of the Clinton presidency.

But speaking to reporters Thursday, Menendez discounted that trend, and said he was targeting nine currently held GOP seats, and had an excellent shot at winning many of them given the fact several Republican senators are retiring.

But ultimately, Van Hollen predicted, the fortunes of the Democratic Party will depend on how the country's flagging economy performs over the next two years.

“The political challenge will be if the economy doesn’t turn the corner, and trying to explain that,” Van Hollen said.

Filed under: House • Senate
soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. Dave

    The two party scam is too predictible. It flows in cycles when the majority gets fat and happy and eventually gets voted out. It will happen again. meanwhile the true power in the shadows that really runs our country just laughs at the puppet show.

    February 13, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Marge

    The democrats don't have to really go after the republicans. Look at what they are doing in congress they are biting themselves in the butt and don't we just love it. Hope they keep it up. People are sick and darn tired of their partisan ship and they are going to get kicked out of office, just wait and see.

    February 13, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Still Waiting for the Politics of Hope February 13th, 2009 1:52 pm ET

    Am I the only one who thinks it's time for a viable THIRD party?
    Been saying that for years. The dem party represents about 10% of the population. The repub party represents about 10% of the population. The rest of us are in the middle. I for example am a second amendment supporter but I don't think people need to have a tank. I also support abortion rights for women but not federal funding for abortion. I sit right in the middle on many issues. I don't want to be lumped in with either party. Only about 20% of Americans fallow party lines because they are both out in right and left field. The third should be called the freedom party and should be less hardline than the other two.

    February 13, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. aware

    They won't even hold the line!

    The Market knows this obscene Pelosi pet project spending spree Obama has owned won't be successful! And it certainly won't help the democrats in 2010 and 2012!

    And Obama seems to be avoiding Washington while he continues his campaign style obfuscating sales talk!

    Too bad wisdom is not one of Obama's gifts!

    February 13, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. T Whiteman

    The Dems have it all over us for the forseeable future – ITS THE DEMOGRAPHICS STUPID! Until we Repubs reinvent ourseves and stop chanting the same old dogma from the 1980's we will see our power continue to erode. Now is the time to tell people like Limbaugh and Palin that thier hateful views can no longer be tolerated in our party.

    February 13, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. L. Song

    America, focus your mind. The republicans and their billionaire pals plundered and destroyed our country. Do you actually think the republicans can come back all shiny-new in one year? If they are telling you that they are lying. Support our president. Give his vision for change a chance. That means supporting democrats in the next election because they will support him. Give it a try. Look at what 8 years of republican control got us! Don't be fooled!

    February 13, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Sad Future

    Even if they were in trouble, the left controlled media will not say so. Fox is the only remotely right television but they don't have much market share. And people are too stupid (or lazy) to check facts and see how fast we are sliding into socialism for themselves. So to answer the question, NO. Say hello to the new Russia (I think we should name it the American Union or maybe the UASR).

    You can thank TV, drugs and the overall dumbing of America. And yes, "dumbing" is not a real word, but it works on so many levels. I doubt most would have caught it either.

    And by the way, I don't care about Republican vs. Democrat anyway... I just hate socialism.

    February 13, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Jack Levine

    While Democrats are now the party of "Yed We Can", the Republicans are the party of "No Can Do"

    Which would *you* vote for?

    February 13, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Jack Levine

    While Democrats are now the party of "Yes We Can", the Republicans are the party of "No Can Do"

    Which would *you* vote for?

    February 13, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Peejay

    We're ALL in trouble NOW! I wish everyone, media included, would focus on what's happening now rather than asking stupid rhetorical questions that only encourage people to make divisive and hateful remarks. Do something productive or shut the hell up!

    February 13, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Will-South Dakota

    The GOP in the House and Senate should start by tossing out McConnell and Boehner for do nothing leadership, the writing is on the wall and McConnell and Boehner are both the GOP albatros bring the ship ship down.

    February 13, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Huh?

    Is this opposite day?

    February 13, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Credit for nothing

    The economy is going to turn around with or without a stimulus bill and regardless of who is in control. But I am sure the Dems will take credit for any kind of recovery and label themselves as the saviors of the world. Don't get me wrong, the Repubs would do the same if they were in office. Economies go up and down, stock markets go up and down. Politicians don't do anything.

    Plus you Dems gave Bush credit for the market crash 2 months into his first term (a result of Clinton's Tech boom and ensuing bust). But I am sure that anything bad 3 years from now will still be Bush's fault in your mind.

    Get with it people!

    February 13, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    The elephants messed up so bad for the past eight years, they dont deserve to be put back in power until they pay 5 trillion dollars back.

    February 13, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. GuyInVA

    No they aren't in trouble. Most media channels were blatantly in the tank for the current president, with a few like MSNBC, unable to maintain even the most threadbare appearance of professional impartiality. Before anyone starts screaming, yes, FOX is a conservative channel, but they are it. How can your party lose when you own the entire government along with a media that will cast all blame on a minority party with no power? So let me see, we need the fairness doctrine on the RADIO???

    February 13, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Tesap:Savannah, GA




    February 13, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Kristina, Seattle


    Next question?

    February 13, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. TCM

    Take 3 liberals...Obama, Pelosi, Reid
    ...add big wasteful, agenda-supporting cash....burdening the citizens
    ....concoct a plan to buy votes in the future
    ....stir for one year, or 2010 whichever arrives first...
    promptly replace all idiot dem liberals; they're done....

    February 13, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. ttofast70@comcast.net

    hey ron;
    you idiots controlled everything for six years. Nice job.

    February 13, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  20. a REAL American

    Sooner or later Americans are going to get tired of hearing about how "it's all Bush's fault" (like we heard from Obama the other night). When that happens, there will be no one left to blame but the idiots running the House and Senate. Are you listening Nancy and Harry?

    February 13, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. CLYDE


    February 13, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Vic

    WOW!!! CNN the Dems have been in power for a whopping 3 weeks and they're in trouble already. Get real, you all are quickly becoming FAUX news SE. You have a loyal following, but keep this craziness up you will surely lose them.

    February 13, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Kevin

    "The DEMS are in trouble in 2009!!!!
    First thing they need to do is IMPEACH Pelosi and start over!
    That woman is a canker sore to the House, certainly NOT a Leader!
    She's spiteful, foul mouthed and vindictive.
    Pelosi is certainly NOT bi-partisan, and absolutely NOT what
    this president promised to the American Voter."

    Just noise. I bet you'd rather she stay home and make cookies.

    February 13, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. liz

    They have had control for LESS THAN A MONTH!!! sheesh! Stop bashing them before they have ahd a chance to do anything without fear of veto!

    February 13, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. naqib


    Bammer will see to that... 2 Trillion in a month... makes Bush look like scrooge!

    February 13, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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